I really liked the beginning and middle of this book. However it was the ending and a mixed bag of emotions concerning the 'foster parents'.
I really did like Malloy and Crispin and I enjoyed watching them fall in love. They were imperfect people and that was ok, better than ok. However....
The 4 ranch hands all being gay was weird but not totally unbelievable. What lost me was the way Emma treated Malloy after Crandall dies. The relationship between Crandall, Emma and Malloy didn't gel for me. Malloy was, at least from what we are told, the son of Crandalls heart and the son Emma didn't birth. Those are some heavy statements. Then to say she is leaving (after Crandalls death) and most likely selling the ranch from right underneath Malloy doesn't seem true. I'm not saying she should have left the ranch to Malloy because she would need income too but at the end it felt wrong. Malloy almost begged Emma to let him take over the ranch. And I felt even worse when it was just until one her grandkids took over.
(Earlier, while Emma is deciding what to do, Malloy and Crispin talk about getting their place and making their own plans. This seemed so true to me. This is what they needed. Staying at J-Bar didn't fit (without any ownership). So I wonder why Malloy and Crispin don't offer to buy or buy into the ranch with Emma at a family discount at least.)
I ended up not liking Emma or her daughter who got all snippy and continued to be snippy. And then the statement that Emma would let Malloy stay and she would deal with the fighting and whining. You know it would seem to me had Crandall and Emma treated their daughters like strays they would have reared better kids. (and don't get me started on the girls as teenagers flaunting their 'wares' at Malloy).
Wow, I didn't realize how much I disliked her until I wrote this review.
The other issue was Eddie and Jim. There seemed to be more going on there and we are left kind of hanging. Maybe there is another book coming??